Designing ee-Learning Environments: Lessons from an Online Workshop
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AbstractProgram offerings in the expanding field of organizational development (OD) are increasing, as evidenced by the numerous programs listed on the OD Network Web site. In particular, the appreciative inquiry (AI) approach is gaining popularity within the OD community. Cocreated by David Cooperrider, a professor of organizational behavior at Case Western Reserve University, appreciative inquiry is a strength-based management philosophy and whole-system change methodology (Cooperrider and Whitney 2005) that is said to be &quot;revolutionizing the field of organizational development ” (Quinn 2000, 220) through its application of guiding principles that focus an organization&apos;s energy on success and possibility. The demand for training in appreciative inquiry continues to increase as organizations across the globe, including the U.S. Navy, the United Nations, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Hewlett-Packard, and Wal-Mart among others, have used AI to plan and execute successful multistakeholder initiatives for positive change. To meet this growing demand with a complement to well-established residency programs like Case&apos;s AI Certificate Program, Cooperrider created a partnership between OvationNet and the technology provider iCohere to provide a variety of online collaboration tools designed to support researchers, consultants, educators, and practitioners of appreciative inquiry. One of OvationNet’s core offerings is a six-week online workshop on the foundations of AI in which participants learn directly from Cooperrider while engaging in experiential learning activities tailored to their own particular professional settings. As OD practitioners who have experience in both appreciative inquiry and online community development, we codesigned and facilitated these workshops in collaboration with Cooperrider. The inaugural workshop was launched in the spring of 2005 with 30 participants from seven countries. A second workshop was offered in the spring of 2006 with 53 participants from seven countries. Most recently, 94 participants from 17 countries participated in the workshop offered in the spring of 2007. These three workshops have suggested several lessons for the successful design and facilitation of experiential, electronic learning (ee-learning) environments.